Watching Myself Watch Wrestling

The late Matt "Big Josh" Osborne is wrestling Ricky Morton at Wrestlewar '92 in Jacksonville, Florida.  I'm on the left in the stands walking by.

The late Matt “Big Josh” Osborne is wrestling Ricky Morton at Wrestlewar ’92 in Jacksonville, Florida. I’m on the left in the stands walking by.

I read last week how the WWE Network had another promotion where you could get a month of their programming for free, provided you cancel the subscription by the 1st of May. While I don’t watch a lot of wrestling in its present era, I once went to a wrestling pay-per-view way back in 1992 in Jacksonville, and I was curious if I could see myself in the crowd from 23 years ago.

World Championship Wrestling was holding “Wrestlewar ’92” at the old Coliseum there, not too far from the Gator Bowl. I had the day off from my radio job at the Sun Radio Network, and my next shift wasn’t until midnight Monday night. I scored a good seat about six rows from the action from the Turtles record store in my neighborhood a few days beforehand and drove up Sunday afternoon for the 7pm bell time.  They had two rings set up for the card, with most of the matches take place in the ring nearest to a runway the wrestlers use to make their way to the rings.  If a match took place in that ring, I was in the sixth row or so in a gray and black striped shirt, so all of you can watch me watch professional wrestling on the WWE Network.


The main event, as often is the case, was the selling point. Two teams of five squared off in the two-ring caged “Wargames” match, with the objective of making one of the ten combatants surrender which would make the opposing team victorious. It was not for the faint of heart, as four of the ten men were bleeding from their foreheads as the much progressed. One of the men, Dustin Rhodes, had his cut spread in his hair, making him look like a crazed rooster as the match wore on. Of course, the blood is part of the choreography.

After about a half hour, the “good guy” team emerged victoriously, so it was back to Largo for me and four and a half hours of driving on Interstates 10, 75, and 275. I was up to the task, but the alternator in my Pontiac wasn’t, so I called AAA on a pay phone in downtown Jacksonville, making myself a target for panhandlers. Didn’t make it home until 4am that morning or so, and the towing bill was nearly $300.

Interestingly, I feel asleep quickly in the car, which makes me wonder if my car trouble was a blessing in disguise. I probably would have stayed in a motel somewhere along the way if I needed to, although I didn’t pack any clothing for such an excursion.



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